Review: Orchestrata by Audio Reward


Orchestrata is a fun and unusual library that can be very useful if you let go of the idea of “realistic” orchestras samples and embrace the idea of synthesis through orchestral sound sources.

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Review: Orchestrata by Audio Reward

Audio Reward’s Orchestrata stands on the idea of being everything that typical orchestral sample libraries are not. It is not meant to create “mockups” or sound like a real recorded orchestra, but rather blur the line between synthesis and sample libraries. While the sound might not be everyone’s cup of tea and the interface can be a bit confusing at first, there’s a lot to enjoy here once you embrace the orchestral synthesis state of mind.

Orchestrata sells for £35.00 from Audio Reward


The main draw of Orchestrata are the many ways of manipulating the source material, including the dual layer architecture, scene controls, and FX sends.

The primary panel is split down the middle – at the top of each column you can choose from a large variety of orchestral sound sources and set a key range for each. Going down, the basic controls including Volume, Pan, Pitch, Attack, and Release are all readily available. These are also the “scene” controls, which I’ll get into a little further down.

There is a row of four “send” knobs which control the mix of effects which you can choose in the FX rack panel. Unfortunately they are always labeled “Send” rather than the name changing to whichever effect you choose, so I found myself having to bounce back and forth between interface panels to remember which effect was in which slot. There are also four “spaces” to choose from here which toggle on/off different convolution reverbs, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to control the parameters of these. Finally, the bottom row is taken up by two gate controls which can add movement to filters, volume, panning, or distortion. The basics are all there including speed, steps, and retrigger.

Clicking the “Filter” tab on each column opens up some basic filter controls including high pass, low pass, and band pass. These can also be oscillated with an LFO on the same page.

The big knob on top of the middle column is the “scene” control. Here you can set three scenes (A, B, or C) and use the modwheel to crossfade between the scenes you program. Volume, Pan and Pitch can be manipulated via this somewhat unique feature, allowing for some interesting sound morphing. The drift knob below sets the range of how far out of tune the samples will oscillate. Below that is a randomise button that scrambles the paramters in the “Main” tab, and a Unison button (I had to look up what this was doing via the manual) which doubles the amount of voices playing for a thicker sound.

The FX rack panel is where we can assign the “Send 1-4” knobs that we saw earlier. There is a reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, and Phaser, all with basic parameters for tweaking. Automating the sends could make for some interesting sound design and weirdness.

Don’t buy Orchestrata if you’re looking for realistic orchestral sounds. While the source material technically consists of real orchestral recordings, the aim here is to treat them as sources for a synth. It’s hard to comment on the overall sound of a product like this since it can make so many different sounds in the end. But the common thread through every sound that comes out of this engine is that organic “almost orchestra” feeling. This could be really useful for something like that lo-fi, old school video game soundtrack vibe.

This sound isn’t everyone’s scene, myself included. But there’s a niche for everything, and this library offers much more than just retro orchestral samples. Thanks to the the scene controls, gates, and effects, you can get some surprisingly modern sounds out of Orchestrata: waves of distortion via the gates, wandering filters on an LFO, and morphing timbres from scene to scene.

The best way to treat Orchestrata is as a synthesis and sound design tool to create something unique rather than just another violin. If you treat it this way, it will treat you nicely in return.


Orchestrata is a ROMpler style instrument that uses public domain orchestral samples as its source material and features Audio Reward’s DOSA engine. There are over 1,700 samples and 184 different articulations/voicings, and over 100 preset snapshots, weighing in at 2.1gb installed.

Orchestrata requires the full retail version of Kontakt 5.7 or higher.

Orchestrata sells for £35.00 from Audio Reward


Demos of Orchestrata by Audio Reward